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Vintage South West surfing images.

This a collection of late 50s & early 60 South West surfing images from various photographers in the Surfing Down South archives. It features a pod of WA surfing pioneer legends.

Photo: 1957 Bernie Huddle & Keith Kino riding plywood toothpick boards at Yallingup. Water photography by John Budge.

1957 Yalls Bernie Huddle & Keith Kino surfing wooden toothpick surfboards - JB pic img568

Photo: 1958 Yallingup Main Break surfer John Budge on home-made balsa board. Water photo courtesy of John Budge.

1958 Yalls John Budge - John Budge pic IMG_0005

Photo: 1962 Gallows outside break Jim Keenan & Puppydog (NSW) riding Barry Bennett boards from NSW. Jim Keenan pic.

1962 Gallows outside break J Keenan & Puppydog on NSW Barry Bennet boards - J Keenan pic

Photo: 1960-61 South Point Cowaramup Bay unidentified surfer. Steve Mailey pic

1960s South Point Cowaramup - Steve Mailey img343

Photo: 1962 Yallingup Main Break surfer Murray Smith. Photo courtesy of Glen Campbell (Dolphins Board Club).

1962 Yalls surfing Murray Smith - Glen Campbell Dolphins Board Club pic IMG_6348

Photos: 1962 Surfing legends at Gallows. Time ravage images courtesy of Brian Cole.

Top: (Left) Bob Keenan. (Right) Brian Cole.

Bottom: Dave Williams both images.

1962 Gallows surfing Brian Cole pics collage_photocat

Photo: 1963 North Point Cowaramup Bay unidentified surfers. Tom Collins pic.

1963 Cowaramup Bay North Point unknowns - Tom Collins pic img235

Photo: 1963 Bunker Bay ‘The Quarries’ unknown surfer. Tom Collins pic.

1963 Bunker Bay The Quarries unknown - Tom Collins pic img219

Photo:1963 Terry ‘Rat’ James doing a ‘quasimoto’ at Gallows. Photo courtesy of Sonny James.

1963 Gallows Terry James - unknown photograher_0001

Photo: 1963 former City Beach surfer Mick Lindsay surfing Gallows. Mick now resides in NSW. Photo courtesy of Geoff Berry.

1963 Mick Lindsay Gallows SW3

Photo: 1964 Margaret River Main Break surfers L-R Murray Smith & Jim Keenan. Photo courtesy of Jim Keenan.

1964 Marg River Murray Smith & Jim Keenan surfing - J Keenan pic1

Photo: 1964 WA’s first State Mens Champion Alex ‘Zac’ Kochanowitsch surfing Margaret River Main Break on his ‘Rising Sun’ surfboard. Ernie Potter pic.

1964 Zac Kochanowitsch Marg River - Ernie Potter pic

Bonus Images.

These 1950s images were sourced from pioneer WA surfer/photographer John Budg’s vintage photo collection. The actual photographers are unknown.

Image: 1950s unidentified pin-up girl.

1950s unknown pinup girl - John Budge pic img367

Image: 1950s unidentified Eastern States surfers riding plywood Toothpick surfboards at an unknown location. .

1950s Aust Surfing toothpicks unknown - John Budge pic img357.jpg A

Thanks to the various photographers for providing the vintage pics.

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1963 Brian Cole’s Overseas Surf Trip 1963.

WA surf pioneers Brian Cole & Barry ‘Joe’ King started making King & Cole surfboards with Bennett blanks in 1962. Their surfboard factory was located at the corner of Station St & Salvado Rd in Wembley. Later they moved to an old dairy in Harbourne St Wembley.

In 1963 Brian got the travel bug and headed to Europe on a ship with his surfing mates ‘Joe’ King and Bob Keenan.

Brian documented his surf travels in White Horses Magazine Issue 12 – Life of Brian in 2015. This is an extract of Brian’s article in White Horses Magazine plus some additional holiday snaps.

We parted company while hitch hiking through Europe, but joined up again in England where Joe & Bob had purchased a Kombi van. We toured Spain, Portugal & Morocco and checked surf beaches before returning to France.

Photos: 1963 France Cote de Basque (left) Kombi & boys on wall (Right) Biarittz Beach & top French junior surfer John Marie Lartigau – Brian Cole pics.

1963 France La Barre line-up & the mob on beach - Brian Cole collage_photocat (4)

In France we met a fellow from Barton Surfboards. He allowed us to make boards for ourselves in his factory & we showed him how to improve his glassing techniques. He bought the boards off us when we left Europe.

While in Biarritz we met US film star Deborah Kerr’s husband Peter Viertel. Peter was the original surfer at Biarritz. We became friends & mixed socially. At the time Peter was a script writer for a US film on bull fighting and we helped teach the bullfighters how to surf.

Photos: 1963 France La Barre wave line-up & the mob on the beach – Brian Cole pics.

1963 France La Barre line-up & the mob on beach - Brian Cole collage_photocat (1)

The French held an International De France De Surf competition at Biarritz and we were invited to compete against surfers from France, Hawaii, USA and Australia.

Photos: 1963 France Biarritz International Competition competitors (Left) Brian Cole & Hawaiian Jan W Lee. (Right) Brian Cole – Brian Cole pic.

1963 France La Barre line-up & the mob on beach - Brian Cole collage_photocat (3)

Australia’s Peter Troy won the event. Bob Keenan came third and I came fifth in the final. I stayed on in Biarritz for a while with Peter Troy.

Image: 1963 France Biarritz International Surf Comp newspaper report – Brian Cole image.

1963 France La Barre line-up & the mob on beach - Brian Cole collage_photocat (2)

From France I caught a Yugoslavia tramp steamer to USA. The ship was relatively small (6500 tonnes) and was tossed around the Atlantic in a hurricane. The ship docked in New York & I travelled across the US in a Volkswagen beetle with a fellow I met on the trip. His VW had shipped from France as deck cargo and was badly salt damaged on the journey.

On the US West Coast I teamed up with Bruce Shooper, a wealthy American surfer I met in France. We spent a week in Loz Angles driving round in his Porsche and then he showed the coastline up to Santa Barbara. Bruce knew Miki Dora and we shared a six pack of beer with Miki on Malibu Beach.

Next I travelled down the coast to San Clemente & stayed with guys from Hobie Alter Surfboards. I was astonished to discover Hobie was making 150 boards a week, as that was considerably more than any OZ board builder at the time.

While there I met Jon Severson, the editor of The Surfer Magazine, and film maker Bruce Brown. I told Bruce to contact Cordingley Surfboards when filming ‘The Endless Summer’ in WA. I was happy to hear later that the Cordingley boys showed him around WA. Unfortunately the surf was poor during Bruce’s WA visit.

I left the West Coast, flew to Hawaii and stayed at Velzyland on the North Shore in an old military hut I shared the hut with boys from Seal Beach California.

Photos: 1963 Hawaii Velzyland (Left) Brian’s shack & red Jack Haley surfboard (Right) sunset view from verandah – Brian Cole pics.

1963 Hawaii Velzyland - Brian Cole collage_photocat

In Hawaii I purchased a second hand 10’2” red colour Jack Haley surfboard (ex Seal Beach California) for $90 US off American Arthur Crump. I bought this board home to WA with me.

Image: 1963 Receipt for second hand Jack Haley surfboard. Image courtesy of Brian Cole.

1963 Hawaii receipt 2nd hand Jack Haley surfboard - Brian cole img677

For six weeks I toured the North Shore stretch and mainly surfed Haleiwa.

Photo: 1963 Hawaii North Shore beaches (left) Sunset Beach line-up from the hill (Right) Waimea Bay with elephant rock in foreground – Brian Cole pic.

1963 Hawaii Sunset & Waimea Beaches - Brian Cole collage_photocat

Banzai Pipeline didn’t agree with 10ft Malibu’s!

Photos: 1963 Hawaii Banzai Pipeline (Left) uncrowded waves (Right) Bill Fury USA – Brian Cole pics.

1963 Banzai Pipeline 2 - Brian Cole collage_photocat

At the time Bob McTavish was on the run from US immigration for stowing away on a ship from Australia to Hawaii. We sheltered Bob from immigration officials on several occasions, but he was eventually caught and flown back to Australia.

I late 1963 I caught a ship from Hawaii, back to Perth in WA and ended my adventurous life when I married Rhonda in 1964!

Rhonda & I live in the South West and I still enjoy fun waves and great companionship with other mature board riders.

Photos: 2015 Brian (age 76) surfing fun waves at Yallingup on his home made triple stringer Malibu board. Bruce King pics.

2015 Brian Cole surfing Yalls - Bruce King pics collage_photocat

2006 Len Dibben Award

In 2006 Surfing WA awarded Brian the Len Dibben Award for his outstanding service towards the development of surfing over an extended period of time.

Image: 2006 Len Dibben Award to Brian Cole. Image courtesy of Brian Cole.

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Clink on this link to view Brian Cole’s East Coast Surf Trip 1959-1961

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1950s Balsa Surfboards

Balsa surfboards were introduced to WA in the late 50s to replace the heavy plywood toothpicks surfboards. The boards were light weight but the balsa sucked water in if the fibreglass coating was damaged.

Pioneer WA surfer Brian Cole: “Most of the balsa boards were imported from eastern states surfboard manufacturers Gordon Woods, Bill Wallace & Bill Clymer. Veteran NSW surfboard manufacturer Joe Larkin did his apprenticeship with boat builder Bill Clymer. Bill Clymer had a one man surf boat at Manly. He would row out into the waves and use the sweep oar to steer back to the beach.”

Photo: 1959 Team photo of WA surf pioneers with balsa surfboards at Mettams beach near Trigg. L-R Colin Taylor, Dave Williams, Graham ‘Cocko’ Killen, Bruce ‘Moonshine’ Hill & Artie Taylor. Photo credit John Budge.

1959 Mettams C Taylor, D Williams, C Killen, Moonshine & A Taylor - John Budge pic

Some of the balsa boards were home made in back yards from balsa blanks purchased from Boans Department store in Perth city.

Brian Cole recalls the balsa board making process: “The balsa was purchased in lengths 9ft x 4” square. Then the boards were glued & clamped together to meet required dimensions. A ‘spoke shave’ was used to take shave off rough edges of the timber prior to shaping with electric & hand planers. Resin & fibreglass cloth was purchased from Monsanto in Subiaco. The shaped balsa was glassed with a single coat of 10 ounce glass…it was difficult to wrap the glass around rails! A filler coat was added, but no gloss coat. Fins were made out of plywood & glassed with a bead on the edge. The wooden fin was glassed onto the board.”

Photo: 1958 Bob Keenan (on pogo stick) shaping a balsa board in his backyard surfboard studio at Subiaco. The balsa blank was purchased from Boans Department store. Photo credit Bob Keenan.

1958 Subiaco Bob Keenan on pogo stick shaping balsa blank from Boans - B KeenanA

Photos: Homemade Balsa Boards

Left: 1955 John Budge with Nirvana balsa board at Yalls. John Budge pic.
Middle: 1958 Don Bancroft with homemade balsa board at Yalls.
Right: 1959 Brian Cole with balsa pig board at Coolangatta Qld. Brian Cole pic

1950s Homemade balsa boards IMG_002

Pioneer surfer Bernie Huddle meticulously looked after his balsa board.

Brian Cole: “One weekend at Yallingup in 1958 Bernie put his balsa board in the shade under the melaleuca trees while he was sunbaking. A church group come along and set up a picnic and started singing hymns on the beach front. Surfer/musicians Don Bancroft & Colin Taylor started accompanying the hymns with their instruments (trumpet & trombone). The Rector got upset with Don & Colin and asked for “a bit of decorum”. Then some of the church kids started jumping on Bernie’s balsa board and were putting holes in it….when Bernie saw what was happening he let forth a blasphemous tirade. The church group quickly packed up & left the beach within 2 minutes. Afterwards Dave Wiiliams said “Everybody got a piece of watermelon at the picnic. Hellelujah.”

Photo: 1957 Bernie Huddle with balsa surfboard at Yalls. Photo credit John Budge.

1957 Yalls Bernie Huddle & board - JB pic img600

Image: 1960 Dave Williams riding his imported Bill Clymer (NSW) round tail balsa board at City Beach. Image courtesy of WA Newspapers.

1960 City Beach Dave Williams on Clymer Balsa Board - West Aust IMG_01

 

 

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1962 The Ghost at Gallows

1962 Howard ‘The Ghost’ Kent grabbing the rail at Gallows. The Ghost was a keen SW big wave rider in the early 60s. He got his nickname from the white zinc cream he plastered on his face. Photo credit Brian Cole.

1962 Gallows Howard 'The Ghost' Kent - Brian Cole  img713 (1)

1962 Bob Keenan surfing on a Malibu surfboard at Gallows. Brian Cole (of King & Cole surfboards fame) is pulling off the back of wave. Photo credit Brian Cole.

1962 Gallows Bob Keenan & Brian Cole  img713 (2)

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1958 Bob Keenan on pogo stick

1958 Bob Keenan of Subiaco tuning up on pogo stick while shaping a homemade surfboard from a balsa blank purchased from Boans Department store in Perth. Bob was a talented surfer – in 1963 while touring overseas he came 3rd in the Inaugural French International Championships held at La Barre, France. In 1965, Bob won the State Open Men’s Title at Yallingup. Photo courtesy of Bob Keenan. 1958 Subiaco Bob Keenan on pogo stick shaping balsa blank from Boans - B KeenanA